Jamie George pinpoints England’s memorable draw with Scotland in their last Guinness Six Nations meeting at Twickenham as a “real turning point” for the team.
This year marks the 150th year of the rivalry between the two sides and they will begin their 2021 Championship with the highly-anticipated Calcutta Cup clash at England HQ.
Eddie Jones’ men are the current holders of the trophy after beating Scotland in Edinburgh last year but the return to Twickenham brings to mind their famous 2019 encounter.
Townsend: England clash is our biggest game every year
The hosts raced into a 31-point lead in as many minutes on that occasion before Gregor Townsend’s men recovered with a second-half blitz to level the scores.
Sam Johnson scored what appeared to be the winning try late on, only for George Ford to rescue a 38-38 draw at the death in one of the most extraordinary finishes in Championship history.
And ahead of the return of Scotland to Twickenham, George reflected on the end-to-end contest two years ago in an interview with The Telegraph and the role it played in England’s progression.
“It was madness really, wasn’t it?” George said. “There was frustration on our side in the way that we let back-to-back negatives in the flow of that Scotland game get the better of us.
“That match was a real turning point for us as a leadership group.
“We certainly look back at that game in terms of how we could have reacted better to the setback and what we could have done differently. We took that Scotland game as an opportunity to learn.
“Compare that to how we stuck together in last autumn’s game against France. It’s a completely different mindset to the one that we saw in that Scotland game at Twickenham.”
2021 Guinness Six Nations fixtures
England go into this year’s Guinness Six Nations as the reigning champions while they also clinched the first Autumn Nations Cup with an extra-time victory over France.
Following their Round 1 contest against Scotland, Jones’ side welcome Italy on the second weekend before facing Wales, France and Ireland in the last three rounds.